End of Life Planning Checklist

This is part of Cake's collection of end of life planning articles. Create a Cake profile for free to discover, document, and share your end-of-life wishes.

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We know there can be an overwhelming list of things to decide on when proactively planning for the end of life. Layer the decisions of day-to-day life on top of this, and you may begin to wonder if you even want to open this door. But there are big benefits to proactively planning ahead for death: a clearer perspective on life, reduced anxiety about the future, and ultimately, a better exit for you and the ones you leave behind.

We created an easy-to-follow checklist below. Click on the links to learn more about a specific document If you want something more dynamic, create a Free Digital Cake End-of-Life Plan (you’re on the Cake blog right now), to get an interactive checklist that will guide you through the entire process. As you plan with Cake, you'll create and store important documents that you can easily share access to with your family.

Create a free, interactive end-of-life planning profile.
And share important documents with your loved ones.

End-of-Life Checklist: Documents You Should Consider 

You can choose from a variety of options when preparing for the end of your life. Here are some of the most important elements of a comprehensive end-of-life plan you should consider creating and sharing with your family:

  • Health care proxy: This is a document that lets you designate a person to make medical decisions for you in case you are not able to so for yourself. This could be in the case of a medical emergency where you are unconscious, or due to things like dementia or other mental impairment.

  • Living will: This document, also referred to as an advance directive in some states, lets your family and doctors know what kind of medical treatments you do or do not want near the end of life. This includes decisions for things like the use of CPR, breathing tubes, nutrition/hydration, and other common life-saving interventions.

  • Power of attorney for finances: This is a person you designate to make financial decisions for you and your estate if you are incapacitated and no longer able to voice your wishes while you are still alive.

  • A will: A document you write in order to give your assets, money or property to people or organizations once you die.  This estate planning includes listing where your assets are kept.

  • Life insurance: You might want to consider getting life insurance for a variety of reasons, including being married or having children, in order to ensure they are provided for if you die unexpectedly.

  • Care plan for your pet: Make sure your beloved pets are taken care of in case you pass by choosing who should care for them if you couldn’t.

  • Memorial plan: By creating a memorial plan, you can muse on how you want to be remembered during your memorial service and beyond. Maybe you want a tree planted in your honor. Or for people to donate to a specific charity. All of these things can be decided in advance.

  • Burial/Body plan:  Expressing your clear choice on how you want to be buried or cremated and where that should happen can all be put into place with this document. With a variety of funeral arrangement options available from traditional to natural burial ideas, you can decide which options best reflect your values.

  • Digital footprint plan: This document helps your loved ones know where your digital accounts are and what they should do with them after you're gone.

While you can take note of these items and start doing your own planning and research, it’s a lot easier to get guidance from Cake. 

When you create a free Cake plan, you’ll get a personalized end-of-life planning checklist that walks you through each step of the process to keep you on track. Cake helps you create many of these documents, or securely upload and share documents that you may already have with your loved ones.